Those people who claim to approach Christ whilst leaving his Church to one side, and even causing her harm, may one day get the same surprise as Saint Paul did when he was on his way to Damascus: I am Jesus whom you are persecuting. And, the Venerable Bede reflects that He does not say 'why are you persecuting my members,but why are you persecuting me?' For He is still affronted in his Body, which is the Church." Paul did not know until that moment that to persecute the Church was to persecute Jesus himself.It's kind of interesting that people know well Paul got his comeuppance by persecuting Christ's church, and yet they themselves will go right ahead and do that same thing. People within the Catholic Church do so as well as those outside of it.
Francis Fernandez, In Conversation With Christ, vol. 4
Fernandez goes on to point out that Paul spoke about the Church later as the Body of Christ. Bringing up the logical conclusion, he mentions it is not possible to love, follow, or listen to Christ, without loving, following, or listening to the Church, because she is the presence, at once sacramental and mysterious, of Our Lord, who prolongs his saving mission in the world to the very end of time.
Food for thought, isn't it? The saints worked to improve the Church but through obedience and love. How do we go about it when we see something is going astray? Do we treat Christ's body with medicine or with hatred? Do we love it as we should? This opens up myriad topics for reflection.